Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Single Digit Temps….Sigh…

Our generator is definitely getting a workout! It's been working very well since we changed out the control head to a newer version that offered a little more control of the Generac. For example, instead of having the Generac turn on when the battery voltage drops to 47.7 volts for 2 minutes (the default setting, which could not be changed with the old control head), the new head allows us to set generator turn-on when voltage stays at 48 volts for 15 minutes. Right now the inverter is set to shut down when the battery voltage drops to 47.4 volts. This is, according to our experts, a conservative strategy to maximize the life of the battery bank.

With the original settings, it was not unusual for the voltage to dip long enough to shut off the inverter before the generator could make a difference, or when the only big-draw voltage suck we don't have any controls on, the deep well pump, kicked on. With the higher voltage/longer time duration setting we're less likely to be standing around in the dark working on everything with flashlights. My Sweetie also spent a lot of time balancing the generator run time and target voltage…the sweet spot seems to be a 90 minute run time or boosting the batteries to 55 volts, whichever comes first.

Two lessons learned:

1) I made penny-wise/pound-foolish decision when the well pump was installed. The well guy asked whether we'd like a computer installed at the well head with a controller in the house. Since our water set-up is built around the idea of the deep well replenishing the cisterns under the house, I decided to forgo the computer for a simple on/off fill switch, purely a dollar decision. What I didn't think through was having the ability to control the timing of the well pump runs. Ideally, we want the well pump running only when the sun is shining. That's a fix we'll be putting in place, along with going to higher efficiency pumps for the internal plumbing. Again, penny-wise/pound-foolish.

2) A second generator has moved up to the number one priority. Hopefully, this can wait until spring, but it's something that definitely has to happen. Once again, my long-term plan was to add an 1800 rpm diesel generator, ideally with a 50 gallon drum tank. My plan would be to have the back-up generator wired in an "either/or" set-up, allowing us to manually route the genie output to recharge the batteries or, in a pinch, to run the primary house systems. I'm considering a refurb'ed military generator for this application.

Seamlessly slipping between topics, interesting article in today's New York Post on how NYPD is quietly prepping for a Mumbai-style terrorist attack:
The NYPD has quietly spent the last six months making preparations for a potential ISIS assault in Manhattan, which police fear could be similar to the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India, sources told The Post.
As we've said repeatedly, a Mumbai-style attack has an excellent ROI for an operation like ISIS...no complicate logistics or world-wide supply chain for explosives or idiotic underwear bomb development...just people willing to die and full auto AK-47s.

The Washington Examiner is quoting a top LEO official as saying the M855 "green-tipped" ammunition currently under attack by the ATF and the White House, doesn't represent any special threat to American law enforcement officers:
A top police representative on Tuesday said that there is no history of criminals using a round popular among AR-15 rifle shooters against officers, undermining the Obama administration's argument for banning the 5.56 M855 "lightgreen tip." 
"Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem," said James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members.
Never let it be said that Barack HUSSEIN Obama let the truth get in the way of a good lie!


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Misfires and Light Strikes

I wanted to do a quick shout-out to my friend Kevin Creighton's blog, Misfires and Light Strikes. Kevin has become perhaps the most thoughtful commentator on the practical shooting sports and their relationship with training and, indeed the Real World.

Since his appearance on SHOOTING GALLERY as one of our "Zeroes," Kevin has become part of what I think of as my "brain trust," people to whom I turn for input on our various projects. Thanks brother!

Monday, March 02, 2015

New Zealand Adventure Trip...

…for SHOOTING GALLERY getting closer and closer! Hunting, shooting, adventure in Middle Earth! Am definitely getting closer to putting it together. Have a bunch of other SGs lined up for 2016…as soon as we get the formal renewal I'll post Season 16 here.

Even the largely brain-dead liberals think that the proposed ban on M855 is really stupid, although not for the same reasons that you and I might suggest. This from one of HuffPo's dogs:
The fact is that shortages of this type affecting America's gun owners begets a powerful political unhappiness that no opposing lobbying or spinning can quell. It is a well-known phenomenon that every candidate must include in their electability calculus. 
It deserves repeating. Banning this type of ammunition, the BATFE will affect the sporting use ecosystem of the AR-15 rifle and its owners who vote for at least two to three years. The true policy question should be, is such an inconvenience or encumbrance as I'm sure it will be called as it is politicized worthwhile?
In other word, only an obsessive gun-hater and "fundamentalist transformer" like Barack HUSSEIN Obama would bone the Dems like this. The hell with all of them.

Interesting piece from my old friend Ken Hackathorn, as quoted on AmmoLand
After all these years, it is my belief that a .45 round is about 10% better than a 9X19mm...ball round vs ball round or JHP vs JHP. Ten percent isn’t much unless your life is at stake–then it is a whole lot. On the other hand, if you told me that I have to carry a 9X19mm pistol, I’m not going to throw a hissy fit. A nine will work just fine if you can place the round where it needs to be. It is not the number of shots fired, or the splits between the shots fired that matters (anytime I hear some talk about ‘splits’, I push the delete button on them...splits don’t mean shit in the real world). While all of us would choose a gun that holds more bullets, how often does round capacity really matter in the real world? If you miss a lot, then high capacity handguns are a great choice. Remember, shootings and gunfights are generally won by those that hit their targets with accurate shots.
Ken is quite literally as good as there is. Pay attention!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Back from Winter Range...

…the big cowboy match in Phoenix. I shot okay — not good, but okay. There were some issues, though, that I'm going to be dealing with on Wednesday's podcast. I've given it a lot of thought today, and I think the issues are so egregious that I do need to discuss them. Enough on that until tomorrow.

I had a "slap me-self on the forehead" moment when I read this piece from Mr. RevolverGuy at the Day At The Range blog on his Ruger Alaskan .454:
At this point there was only one last thing to do, turn this revolver into the most versatile revolver I own, capable of being deployed in any situation. Since the original purchase, even before the background check was complete I was thinking Triple Threat. A revolver capable of firing 45ACP, 45LC and 454Casull. This would mean I would need to find someone I could trust to mill the cylinder on my revolver to take 45ACP moon clips.
That is absolutely totally cool! Adding .45 ACP capability, especially with moon clips, really brings the  Alaskan up another level. I usually keep .45 Colt ammo around, but I've got tons of .45 ACP. I may have to give this a shot.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snowing Again...

…is that why they call it "winter?" Still. spring is within sight, although presently buried under several inches of snow. I think I'll survive.


I note the return of the Dan Wesson .357 revolver, the 715. Caleb has an excellent write-up at Gun Nuts Media. Caleb, being even more of a revolver nut than I am, is an excellent person to evaluate the 715. I have to say that along with the Solothurn I never got, I always lusted after one of the Dan Wesson "Pistol Packs" on their .44 Magnum VHs, with multiple barrels, grips and all sorts of neat stuff. I suppose it would be too much to hope for CZ/Dan Wesson releasing new .445 SuperMags for myself and all the other idiots on Lee Martin's Forums — we like compression fractures!!! Carpel Tunnel Syndrome-R-Us!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Post-Modern Revisionism

Tam at VIEW FROM THE PORCH makes an excellent point on BS liberal revisionism:
I realize that, taken as a national average, gun laws have loosened from their Peak Draconianism in '95 or so, but in a number of states that represent a large chunk of the nation's population, such as CA, NY, NJ, MA, and CT, they've never been stricter. 
It was within my lifetime (albeit barely) that you could order an actual 20mm anti-tank rifle in the mail with less drama than buying a packet of Sudafed today. You're entitled to your own opinions, dude, but not your own facts.
She the publishes this wonderful gun magazine ad from the late 1950s for a 20mm Solothurn antitank rifle, with accessories and available ammunition, delivered to your home through the mail for the lordly sum of $189.50 (keeping in mind that surplus Garands were, like, $20):


Sigh…when I was a kid (being slightly older than Tam, of course), I wanted one of those Solthurns so bad I could spit. In fact, I managed to save up the $189.50, plus the additional bucks for the 20mm ammo, from allowances, odd jobs and whining to my grandfather who was an easy touch. Unfortunately, my father, who was less than enthused but had agreed to place the order for me (along the way converting all my quarters, dimes, and silver dollars into "grown-up money" to make the purchase) found a way to talk me out of the Solothurn…he showed up one day with an ad for a Lafayette (I believe) 6-meter AM transceiver that, when you added in the antenna, cables, a desk microphone,and assorted other accessories came to…$189.50.

Which, he asked me, would I use more?

I HATED grown-up logic!

I bought the 6-meter transceiver and, in truth, spent many happy hours destroying our neighbors' television reception.

But I pined for the long lost Solothurn. I remembered it when I first met John Ross, where the Solothurn had a starring role in his UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. John offered to sell me his Solothurn for $10K, but grown up Michael turned him down...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

An Amazingly Low-Key Weekend...

….comes to an equally low-key end. Snow...cold…wind…stay inside and read. Cook a bit. Watch some old movies. Clean a couple of guns. Pretty cool, all in all.

There's a couple of articles that are definitely worth reading. the first is from the Cedar Rapids Gazette via Guns Save Lives, titled "I'm That Guy You Never See Carrying a Gun Every Day:"
People from all walks of life legally carry guns. Some are men and some are women. Some are old and some are young. The ones I know train. The ones I know are aware: Aware of their surroundings. And aware of all of the armchair quarterbacking that will be done if they ever have to use that tool of last resort on their belt. So why do it anyway? Because they value their life and the lives of others. Simple.
It's a good piece, and right on target, so to speak. Graham Tradecraft's Matt wrote an equally compelling piece titled, "Knock Knock, Reaper's Here:"
There has been chatter recently about “ tactical minimalism”, and the idea that having less than a full load out makes a person inferior or less capable. When I talk about minimalism I am specifically referring to living as a minimalist within the context of personal protection and the use of available tools, i.e. firearms, knives, gear, etc. A better term comes from the military and is “line gear”, and is referenced as first line gear, second line gear, and third line gear. First line gear is described, simply, as gear you will never be without or gear that you have with you at all times. Quiz time: knock knock, Reaper’s here…what is your first line gear? Remember the rules: it must be gear that you have on you at all times. For me in my life I want to say that my first line gear is a gun, a light, a knife, and a tourniquet. But I’d be lying. So would most of you. Do you fly commercially as a civilian? Do you go into restricted areas, either government buildings or school zones? Do you swim in a pool or spend time at the beach? If you do, the chances are, like me, you aren’t carrying a gun. Maybe a knife. So that makes my first line gear – the gear that I have with me at all times – simply a light and a tourniquet. Seems fairly benign, yet it is realistic. When confronted by people who say they always carry and have tons of gear and equipment every time, all the time, my response is two-fold: they are either full of shit or they don’t get out very much.

Read the whole thing.

Strangely enough, we watched BIRDMAN today…meh…I'm always a little ambivalent about movies about acting in general, since I'm sort of not really an actor myself. Insufficient angst. One of the times I was out playing Hollywood a real actor asked me whether I'd always wanted to be an actor. I replied, reflexively, that I wasn't an actor. She laughed. "You've been on teevee for, what, a decade?" she said. "Trust me, you're an actor." Cue the theme music, I suppose. LOL!

Anyway, it was okay.